The Freak Furnitures

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Billed under the name Pidgins, The Freak Furnitures is actually the brainchild of Barcelona-based guitarist JC Porter. This album of jazz-funk is strongly reminiscent of the late-1980s music of Robert Musso and Electric World, thanks mostly to its pushing, Parliament-esque basslines. The programmed drum loops aim at something more techno-oriented, but with little avail. Swirling analog keyboards and frequent saxophone solos bring a taste of You-era Gong. The result can be destabilizing at first, but the originality of the recipe fades out as the listener is reminded of more and more jazz artists who followed a similar path in the late 1990s/early 2000s (think of Tim Hagans' Animation -- Imagination project, for instance). And if Porter does a decent job, his music hardly leaves its mark. The tunes remain very generic. What does come across is his guitar playing, solid, inventive, and borrowing elements from a wide array of musicians that range from Robert Fripp to David Fiuczynsky. Miguel Gallardo's soprano sax playing is also responsible for some highlights. A few tracks like "Clustering Bones" foray into free-form jamming over a programmed rhythm section. That's where Porter shows what he is capable of. Still, the best tracks are the more dance oriented, like "Skeptical Polyglots" and "The Freak Furnitures," although they tend to fall into the pit of mainstream fusion.

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